Top 10 CAN-Spam Law Violations That Will Surely Get You Blacklisted

Do you have any experience of e-mail marketing? So, how was it? Well, I don’t want to make myself out to be an e-mail marketing expert and teach you how to improve your e-mail campaigns. I just want to share with you some of my personal observations on how you can ruin your e-mail marketing campaign completely.

So, here they are:

  • Do not present yourself or your organization in the sender line. Just write something obscure in trying to conceal your identity or pretend to be someone you aren’t and it’s done. This is the right way to get your message deleted, ignored or reported as spam.
  • Type a spammy subject line. If your subject line is a pure advertisement or a naked call to action, it will work well in conjunction with your foggy sender line. Even better if you type the subject line in ALL CAPS.
  • Send irrelevant content. You can interpret this like “do not respect the customer’s preferences and follow your needs only”. So, every time you have something new to tell about your products or services, send a message to all of your subscribers. Is it wrong you may ask? Sometimes it isn’t but sometimes it is the decisive factor in the e-mail campaign failure. If a customer subscribed to receive news about new car models, feel free to send him the letters about pets and animals, flowers, home improvement, etc. He will brighten with pleasure, won’t he?
  • Send without permission. How you obtain your potential recipients often plays a role. Gather or buy email addresses on the Internet and you are on a half way to failure. Those people do not know who you are and they didn’t give you permission to email them.
  • Do not provide a way to unsubscribe. Why care about the subscriber’s wish? You think that if they don’t want to receive emails from you anymore, they will reply and ask you to be removed. Yes, the right way….to failure.
  • Ignore unsubscribe requests. Let’s imagine you do a favor and provide your recipients with a way to unsubscribe. After all, why on earth you want to waste your time for handling their requests, don’t you?
  • Do not deal with spam complaints. The same situation as with the unsubscribe requests. Do nothing if somebody complaints your ISP about receiving spam from you.
  • Send to “dirty” list. This step combines two tips above. Ah…of course, forget to check your email list for validity and do not remove invalid addresses before sending emails.
  • Don’t bother to check the message out. This is one more sure way to ruin your sender’ reputation. Just send an email as is without checking the text for mistakes and typos, making sure that the images are displayed and the links are working.
  • Never test. This is extra work and you’re so busy! If the message arrives in an unreadable format, so much the worse for the recipient. It’s not your fault. In your email client everything looks fine. So, don’t worry and take it easy.

Well, do you recognize anybody in any of these email marketing practices? I am sure this is not you. I know you don’t practice these devil’s tips. But maybe I am wrong?

Check your mail server’s IP address against DNS based blacklists every few email campaigns. You can use the G-Lock Apps delivery and spam testing tools to see your inbox placement, spam scores, authentication issues, daily blacklist monitoring to check if your server’s IP address is blacklisted and get summary email alerts if any problems are detected.

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Comments (3)

  • Avatar



    If you are selling an affiliate product make sure you check their policies, a lot of affiliate programs do not allow email marketing.

  • Avatar



    Great advice!

    I would also endorse using EasyMial by G-Lock to front end your email campaigns; rather than a simple MS Outlook / Word mail merge. EasyMail provides a great way to manage all of your contacts and campaigns. I do several Newsletter campaigns to different lists.

    We all deal with Excel or CSV type lists. But, I have not found an easy and efficient way to manage the contacts without dumping them into a centralized database.

    Thanks Julia

  • Avatar

    Nigel Freeney


    Great article but it never ceases to amaze me how people make mistakes in ways which seem ironically suitable. I am a regular user of G-Lock software and I find it brilliant. As good as it is you can’t afford to switch off your brain – especially when you are doing a large email out to your members!

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